The Effect of iCook 4-H, a Childhood Obesity Prevention Program, on Blood Pressure and Quality of Life in Youth and Adults: A Randomized Control Trial

Objective: Obesity increases the risk of developing hypertension and from population-based samples with estimations that of 2-4% of the U.S. pediatric population has hypertension, which may affect quality of life. This study examined the effects of an obesity prevention program on blood pressure and quality of life in youth and adult participants.
Methods: A multi-state research team recruited treatment dyads (youth and their adult meal preparer) to participate in a 12-week randomized control trial and follow-up through 24 months. The treatment group received a cooking and physical activity intervention, followed by booster sessions and mailed newsletters over the remaining two-year period. The control group received no intervention. Resting blood pressure and health related quality of life (HRQOL) surveys were administered at 0,4,12 and 24 months.
Results: 228 dyads were recruited (n=77 control and n=151 for treatment). Youth and adult systolic blood pressure (SBP) increased over the 24 months (p=0.003 and p=0.03, respectively) with no differences between groups. From baseline to 24 months both control and treatment youths’ physical and psychological HRQOL increased (p=0.01 and p=0.002, respectively). At 0 and 4 months, youth and adult SBP was positively correlated (r=0.24, p=0.003 and r=0.33, p<0.001, respectively). In the treatment group, there was an inverse association between adult SBP and youth psychological HRQOL at 4 months (r=-0.20, p=0.04), and a similar trend in adult SBP and youth physical HRQOL at 4 months in the treatment group (r=-0.19, p=0.05).
Conclusion: A youth-adult dyad obesity prevention program consisting of culinary, mealtime and physical activity education, elicited improvements in HRQOL in youth participants.


Olfert MD, Famodu OA, Flanagan S, Smith E, Leary MP, Hagedorn RL, White JA, Koenings MM, Colby SE, Kattelmann KK, Franzen-Castle L and White AA

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